The chocolate cookies soften as the cake chills overnight for a perfectly
moist, “cheater’s” cheesecake. // © Con Poulos
Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.
I've had such a blast working on these three-ingredient recipes. I really liked the challenge—it forces me to think in a clear and direct way, which is kind of great in the kitchen, especially when your pantry or wallet is limited. This icebox cake was superfun because the ingredients are completely accessible and not at all elevated: cream cheese, Hershey's chocolate syrup and Nabisco's Original Chocolate Wafers. The texture is like a very light chocolate cheesecake, but it looks more like a five-layer chocolate-buttercream cake.
My first test was with mascarpone instead of cream cheese, but it was a bit problematic because the particular brand of mascarpone I used (though delicious!) always breaks when whipped. Cream cheese is much more sturdy, almost too sturdy, so I had to thin it with a little water (I'd have used milk, but that would have put me over the three-ingredient limit). The chocolate syrup needed to be a thin, pourable kind. Though I'd have prefered a bittersweet hot fudge sauce, I really needed the viscosity and sweetness of the Hershey's. After sitting in the fridge overnight, it came together beautifully and was way more than the sum of its parts. Now all I can think of are all the cool variations: passionfruit juice, cream cheese and Nilla wafers; raspberry jam, cream cheese and chocolate wafers; apricot preserves, cream cheese and gingersnaps; espresso shots, cream cheese and chocolate wafers...Crazy! SEE RECIPE »